Work Session
May 23-24, 2002


MODIFIED VERSION Submitted by: Student Regent Christian Hur


Promoting economic development in the State of Montana through the various campuses of the MUS remains the primary purpose of this proposal. In Section 1, the proposal empowers and encourages all Campus CEOs to carry out the BOR's stated MUS economic development goals at the various campus levels across the MUS. Section 1 also encourages Campus CEOs to create their own economic development goals at the campus level and provides a way for the BOR to evaluate the Campus CEO's success at promoting economic development. In Section 2, the proposal seeks to clarify a reasonable number of steps that the BOR expects before any Campus CEO next submits a specific economic development initiative before the BOR on behalf of a MUS campus.


The Board of Regents recognizes that there must be a critical partnership between higher education and economic development in the state of Montana. Each campus of the Montana University System provides fundamental economic-outreach to the geographical area and community surrounding each MUS campus. The Board of Regents includes economic development goals in the MUS strategic plan. Each campus should likewise contribute to those goals by promoting economic development in their respective communities. 

Even when such programs or training might already exist several hundred miles away at an existing MUS campus, the economic development needs of each campus-community must be first served regardless of the higher education services offered in distant geographical areas of Montana and elsewhere.

  1. Each campus is expected to have economic development as at least one of their Campus Strategic Plan goals.
  2. The BOR will annually review, more often if deemed necessary, the performance of all Campus CEOs (including chancellors and the Great Falls and Helena COT Deans) in their ability to carry out their respective campuses' contributions to the stated MUS economic development goals.
  3. Certain Campus Strategic Plan goals may receive specific funding through the Board's proposed Investment Initiatives. Others will undoubtedly require Campus CEOs to use existing resources and creative sources of financing (i.e. partnerships, federal grants, or higher tuition schedules for specific workforce training and/or degree programs).


The Montana Board of Regents endorses all campus CEO activities that respond to the economic needs of their respective campus-communities. The BOR must facilitate, promote, and expedite opportunities to promote economic development through programs, services, and outreach provided by campuses of the Montana University System. Campus CEOs, when required to submit proposals to the BOR for approval (especially those proposals that will economically benefit their campus-community), should first follow a minimum of the below steps. After such, the economic development proposal would then be directly submitted at the next appropriate Board of Regents meeting for approval. "Opportunities to promote economic development" particularly include degree programs, workforce training, and campus-business partnerships requested by businesses and other organizations in Montana's communities. Please note: The BOR will depend heavily on the continuing initiative of Campus CEOs to independently act and carry out the broad economic development goals outlined in the MUS Strategic Plan.

The following steps will apply only to those Campus CEO economic development proposals and/or activities that currently need BOR approval for implementation:

  1. Campus CEOs will be strongly encouraged to coordinate their economic development proposals with the appropriate offices of other MUS campuses and staff of the OCHE.
  2. Even when such programs or training might already exist several hundred miles away at an existing MUS campus or elsewhere, Campus CEOs must first consider the economic development needs of their campus-community.
  3. Campus CEOs must create an appropriate business plan that outlines the:
    • Success of any proposed program.
    • Economic need for any proposed program.
    • Timeline for implementation of any proposed program.
    •  Economic development (outreach & benefit) potential for any proposed program.
  1. Campus CEOs must prepare and submit financial information that accurately forecasts how the program will be funded.
  2. If the presented Campus-CEO economic development proposal includes new and expensive degree programs and/or workforce training, Campus CEOs must also create an appropriate tuition and fee schedule proposal for the requested program/training.
  3. Campus CEOs are strongly encouraged to seek and create collaboration between the submitting campus, other MUS campuses, private businesses, Federal and State governmental agencies, and not-for-profit organizations regarding any economic development proposals.
  4. The Board of Regents must be informed of all legal partnerships upon the public submission of the item.The term partnership, clarified by the US Internal Revenue Service definition of partnerships formed after 1996, means:

 An organization formed after 1996 is classified as a partnership for federal tax purposes if it is an unincorporated organization with two or more members and its members carry on a trade, business, financial operation, or venture and divide its profits. However, a joint undertaking merely to share expenses is not a partnership. For example, co-ownership of property maintained and rented or leased is not a partnership unless the co-owners provide services to the tenants